Lausai, or "the redeemed", is the self-denomination of a syncretic religious cult, which emerged toward the end of the 4th century CE from the contact of the polytheistic cult of several Germanic, mostly Suebic refugees, with the social and political structures of the Roman civitates they found asylum in and the religious beliefs of the Christians, Manichaeists and others of the Roman citizens. It gained considerable momentum from the role the Markomannic Queen Fritigil played as prophetess of this new cult.

Lausai cult and communities spread among the Suebi in Markomannia and Alemannia at the turn of the 4th/5th century CE as well as among the Burgunds and other Eastern Germanic tribes. It influenced the similar "Third Age Interpretation", which became popular in Franconia and Saxony in the middle of the 5th century.

While Lausai cult was very successful in replacing older forms of Germanic cult in the South, it found fierce adversaries among the priests of the Svear. The conflict between Northern and Southern Germanic cults shaped the last third of the first millennium CE.

During and after the age of industrialisation and social modernisation and under massive Roman and Celtic influences, Germanic cult transformed as a whole. In today`s Germanic theology, elements of Lausai thought can be traced especially in the moral philosophy. In everyday cultic practice, common worship among ordinary people, which transcends the sphere of family and clan, is perhaps the most important legacy of the Lausai.

The historical Lausai (during the late 4th roughly into the 9th-10th centuries) believed in a redeemer (not unlike the Christian Jesus), who was the son of Nerthus. In an age, in which the AEsir brought destruction upon the world through their warfare, which had laid the fertile earth barren (a story not unlike the real experiences of Germanic peoples during the shortened Migration Period of this timeline), and in which the unaware sinned against the laws of fertility and disequilibirated the world (a story that might reflect discussions among Romans about the fatal effects of deforestation and certain agricultural practices), the son of Nerthus sacrificed himself for the redemption of his followers in a power-struggle, at the end of which he obtained a deal from Odin to abstain from interfering with the realm of the redemmed.

Lausai cultic practice in this historical period was centered around "prescribed" agricultural practices, sharing knowledge, mutual communitarian help and abstention from warfare and the consumption of alcohol or other drugs. As the zeal of the founding era waned among the general Suebic population, monastic sects evolved, whose members attempted to fulfill the principles of Lausai cult with greater emphasis and orthodoxy.


Salvador79 (talk) 10:38, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

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